Choosing a Good Business Name
This is usually one of the fun parts of starting a business, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. A great company name differentiates you from your competitors, generates interest from customers, and invites further investigation. That’s why it’s so important to get it right. You have probably already thought of a few good contenders. But before you settle on your business name, there are some important things you need to consider.
Is it descriptive?A good name provides information about who you are, what you do, and how you do it. If you’re providing a personal or local service, you can also include that information in your name. For example, “Suzi’s Shiatsu” helps to portray personalised service and “Sydney Shiatsu” tells you where the business is located. Whereas a name like “Unkink and Unwind” could mean pretty much anything! The right name not only represents your business, it can also help you to attract the right type of customer. For example, a creative business should have an imaginative name. And if you operate in a niche market, you can use jargon or a play on words to help attract your target market. Get creative, but try to avoid being corny. Remember that not everyone has the same sense of humour that you do.
Is it memorable?Word of mouth is an important way to grow your business. That means it’s important for you to have a name that is easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember. The more memorable your business name is, the easier you make it for your customers to recommend you to their colleagues. Using normal spelling also helps potential customers to find your web site and phone number. Unusual or creative spelling may just lead customers to think that you can’t spell! You should also think about the acronyms, abbreviations and compound-names you can create from your business name. For example, you may choose to have a longer, descriptive name that can be shortened to something snappy. As the business becomes more successful, you can start to move away from the original longer name, just like Queensland and Northern Territory Air Services became QANTAS and Federal Express Corporation became FedEx.
Is it flexible?Think of all the different ways you’ll want to use the new name, and make sure it’s a good fit for your business:
- Can you represent the business name graphically to create a logo? Is it a good length for printing on business cards?
- Are you going to branch out into other areas in future? Is your name too specific? Will your name grow with you?
- Are you looking to take on a partner or sell the business in future? If so, you may decide not to include your own name as part of the business name.